‘The Secrecy Must End’

Jamestown Post-Journal

March 25, 2018

By Katrina Fuller

‘Spotlight’ Attorney:Child Sex Abuse By Priests Is ‘Systemic’

[Photo caption: Pictured, clockwise from top left, are Chester S. Stachewicz, Joseph P. Friel, Francis T. Hogan, Martin L. Pavlock, Thomas L. Kemp, Mark M. Friel, John P. Hajduk, and Donald S. Fafinski. The Buffalo Diocese on Tuesday released the names of 42 priests who were removed, retired or left the ministry after being accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Several of the priests named served in churches in Chautauqua County.]

The shudder of an unsavory case first unearthed in Boston about 16 years ago is still being felt today, even in Western New York.

In January 2002, a secret world of child sex abuse was uncovered in the Catholic Church by a special team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe known as the “Spotlight Team.”

Buffalo and the surrounding areas felt the reverberations this past week after the Buffalo Diocese released a list of 42 priests who had been removed from ministry, retired or had left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Many of those named in the list served in churches in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.


Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston-based attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse, said the Catholic Church’s issues with child sexual abuse are potentially “endless.” Submitted photo

One of the main players in helping to unravel the secret abuse perpetrated by dozens of priests over many years is Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston-based attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. Garabedian said he has represented at least 20 clients in the Buffalo Diocese, which encompasses Chautauqua County and other areas in Western New York.

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